Cytokine storm induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection: The spectrum of its neurological manifestations

Parisorn Thepmankorn, John Bach, Ahmed Lasfar, Xilin Zhao, Sami Souayah, Zhao Zhong Chong, Nizar Souayah

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), can trigger a hyperinflammatory state characterized by elevated cytokine levels known as hypercytokinemia or cytokine storm, observed most often in severe patients. Though COVID-19 is known to be a primarily respiratory disease, neurological complications affecting both the central and peripheral nervous systems have also been reported. This review discusses potential routes of SARS-CoV-2 neuroinvasion and pathogenesis, summarizes reported neurological sequelae of COVID-19, and examines how aberrant cytokine levels may precipitate these complications. Clarification of the pathogenic mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 is needed to encourage prompt diagnosis and optimized care. In particular, identifying the presence of cytokine storm in patients with neurological COVID-19 manifestations will facilitate avenues for treatment. Future investigations into aberrant cytokine levels in COVID-19 patients with neurological symptoms as well as the efficacy of cytokine storm-targeting treatments will be critical in elucidating the pathogenic mechanisms and effective treatments of COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number155404
StatePublished - Feb 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry
  • Hematology
  • Molecular Biology


  • COVID-19
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Coronavirus
  • Cytokine storm
  • Encephalopathy
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome
  • Hypercytokinemia
  • Interferons
  • Neurological complications
  • Skeletal muscle injury


Dive into the research topics of 'Cytokine storm induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection: The spectrum of its neurological manifestations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this